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- Sam McPherson is responsible for this interview.
Andy Page is a Lost fan, notable for creating and overseeing the popular Lost fansite, DarkUFO, one of the most visited Lost fansites on the internet. Page has been a subject of recent scrutiny after the synopsis to "Through the Looking Glass, Part 1" was posted on the spoiler section of his blog before the episode actually aired. The same thing occurred before the season four finale for both episodes "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" and "There's No Place Like Home, Part 2". The interview was conducted via email on August 20, 2008.
Lostpedia: How did you first come to watch Lost? What struck you about it?
Being from the UK we I read a bit of buzz about Lost from various
media outlets and thought it looked interesting. Channel 4, one of the
UK TV companies purchased the first Season 2 and on it's first night
aired four episodes back to back. Myself and my wife watched all four and were instantly hooked. The
mysteries and the acting as well as the amount of money spent on the show
stood out immediately and after the first four episodes we were both left
waiting for more. Being a bit of a techie geek, the following day I downloaded and
burnt onto DVD all the episodes and over the next few nights we both
watched the entire series.
Lostpedia: When did you first decide to build the website DarkUfo? Why?
I started off posting spoilers for Season 2 over at IMDB and was then
approached by DocArzt from The Tailsection to work on the spoiler part
of his site. This got me interested in blogging and got me into the
fandom. The first part of site was me simply making a list of all the
outstanding mysteries yet to be resolved. This is the Lost Mysteries
section. Whilst doing this the site got "Digg" and got a lot of
attention and people asked for more and more info on the show. I slowly expanded the site to include more and more sections and added a spoiler section. The spoiler section really took off and I had people all over the world emailing me and submitting spoilers.The thing just exploded beyond my wildest expectations.
Lostpedia: What is the origin of the name DarkUfo?
I used to play keyboards in a band called Greenhaus, and we did over
100+ gigs around UK and Europe. Again being a techie I decide to try
my hand at a side project using just the Internet and my computer.
This side project was called "DarkUFO" and was a trance band that we
featured on the old MP3.COM site. The actually name DarkUFO comes from a Handle I used back when I used to be a UFO researcher.
Lostpedia: What is the reason that you attribute the growth of your site to?
I think it's a number of things, including blind luck. First I think people
liked the format of the site in it's different sections and the fact
they could subscribe to the separate RSS feeds for the info they were
interested in. The spoiler section is also VERY popular with fans wanting to find
out as much as possible from the show and we pride ourselves in
keeping this as up to date and accurate as possible (although a few
foilers have slipped by lol). Another factor that is that people can comment on the information and
over the years great community of posters have evolved and with the
exception of a couple of bad eggs it's an excellent community.
Lostpedia: Do you use Lostpedia? If so, how often, and for what?
Hell yes! I use it all the time to check facts that my little grey
cells cannot remember. During the hiatus I use it to get information
for all the various character and Episode cups that we run. When the
show is on, I use to check that I've not missed any Easter Eggs,
Whisper Transcripts, or continuity errors.
Lostpedia: Who is your favorite character and why?
Not a fair question lol. Season 1 it was Locke, Season 2 Eko, Season
3 Ben, and Season 4 Desmond.
Lostpedia: What is your favorite episode or why?
If I really had to pick one it would be The Man Behind the Curtain as
it featured the history of Dharma, Ben, The Purge, Richard Alpert etc
etc I just loved seeing Dharma in all it's pomp and seeing how Ben
became the leader of the Others.
Lostpedia: Let's talk about Lostfan108.
Uh Oh :)
Lostpedia: When did he first contact you?
I first noticed him when he posted the full synopsis for the Season 3
Finale about a week or so before the finale. This post was then
removed a few hours later and he then emailed me the details of the
plot saying that I could have first go at posting it before he posted
it elsewhere himself.
Lostpedia: What was your reaction to these spoilers?
At first I called BS. [sic] Then I read them again and checked his story
with some sources and it slowly become apparant that this was the real
deal and I thought Holy Shit!
Lostpedia: Do you know how LostFan108 got them? What do you think his motives are?
I've no idea how he came across them. I can only speculate that he
works in Post Production and gets to see the final version. As for
motives, you will have to ask him. I'd have preferred him not to
release them the way he did and can't understand why he would post
them on a public board such as AICN without warning. It was pretty
irresponsible of him.
Lostpedia: How difficult was the decision to post the spoilers?
Very. I pondered the first LostFan108 spoilers for a day or so and
ran a poll on the site to see what our readers wanted. From my memory
we had over 80,000 votes and the "yes, Post it" crowd won. The other factor that persuaded me to post them was that I felt I could release them in a slightly more responsible manner. I decided to
split the posts up over a period of 3-4 days with a segment being
released each day and in a graphic format that made it a little harder
for people to copy and paste the text etc. It also gave people warning
that the spoilers were coming and to avoid unmoderated boards which
would help people avoid getting "shotgun spoiled".
Lostpedia: Considering fan and producer backlash, do you regret your decision about it?
Personally I had very little backlash, 95% of all feedback I got was
very positive and thankful for posting. I still don't know to this day
if I did the right thing or not but I think I would have felt worse if
Lostfan108 had gone to another site and released them into the wild
without any warning, causing even more people to be spoiled who did
not want to be. The funny thing was, that at no time did anyone from ABC ask me to
remove them. If they had done so I would have removed them. As part of
running our sister site, SpoilerTV, we get take down notices from CBS,
FOX, NBC, etc but never once from ABC.
The old DarkUFO logo
Lostpedia: Do you think that you have been unfairly portrayed in this situation?
I really don't know to be honest. I tried to make the best of a bad
situation and did it in a way I thought best and as I said most of our
users were really supportive of me and we've certainly seen no drop
off in users on the site. I can certainly understand people who were
unfairly spoiled being upset and like most things in life they look
for someone to blame, hell I've done it myself enough times. The fact
is that these were going to be released regardless of if I posted them
and I think a LOT more people would have been spoiled had I not
released them the way I did. As I previously mentioned, I would have rather Lostfan108 had not
released the info and/or ABC had kept a tighter reign on things but
such is the nature of the industry that spoilers get out.
Lostpedia: What would you like to see your site do in the future?
Well for the next two Seasons, I hope to continue to provide a site that is updated regularly with Lost news and events along with all the fun Polls, Cups, Competitions (Fantasy and Prediction Leagues) and that people still enjoy visiting. Once Lost is over (Pains me to even think that) we will continue to focus on SpoilerTV to provide news and spoilers about all the major US shows and I'm hoping that down the line another show like Lost may come along and spark the interest of the fans again and we can create a new site.